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Romualdez seeks release of P7.5B TESDA Scholars’ Fund

Martin Romualdez and Isidro Lapeña
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep Martin Romualdez is shown with Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA) Sec. Isidro Lapeña (right) at the House of Representatives. Photo by VER NOVENO

To ensure the continuity of scholarship programs for poor, deserving students

HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez has led 17 lawmakers in urging the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release the remaining P7.59 billion scholarship funds of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA).

Romualdez, chairman of the powerful House committee on rules, underscored the importance to ensure the continuity of scholarship programs for the poor but deserving students as the Philippines’ battles coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.

House Resolution (HR) 1201 directs the DBM to release the balances of appropriations and/or allotment for the TESDA’s scholarship programs amounting to P7, 598,736,000.

“The P7, 598,736,000 under Republic Act No. 11465 (General Appropriations Act of 2020), is expected to serve 266, 938 enrolled individuals,” they said.

They pointed out the need for the full implementation of the scholarship programs “in order to support a wide magnitude of affected workers and enterprises due to economic slowdown, closure of establishments, and the expected influx of returning OFWs (overseas Filipino workers).”

According to them, the filing of resolution was an offshoot of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s marching order “to increase the effort of all government agencies to alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to assist returning OFWs and displaced Filipino workers and enterprises.”

The following lawmakers joined Romualdez in pushing for the adoption of HR 1201: AKO Bicol party-list Reps. Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Elizaldy Co; Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr; Bukidnon Rep. Manuel Antonio Zubiri; Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong; Quezon Rep. David Suarez; Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr.; Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Ferdinand Gaite; MAGSASAKA party-list Rep. Argel Cabatbat; Deputy Speaker and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez; Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe; Valenzuela City Rep. Wes Gatchalian; Iloilo City Rep. Julienne “Jam” Baronda; House Minority Leader and Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr , and Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado.

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